Wednesday night, after the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, there were protests in at least two cities — Portland OR and Seattle WA — that turned violent. In Portland, protesters smashed doors and broke windows of the Democratic Party headquarters, set a small dumpster on fire, and sprayed graffiti on outside walls (including “Fuck Biden”). At least 8 people were arrested.
Even more annoying, marching protesters carried large banners and signs saying “We don’t want Biden, we want revenge! For police murders, imperialist wars and fascist massacres”, and “We are ungovernable”.
In Seattle there was also some vandalism, and crowds chanted “Antifa!” and “No cops, no prisons, total abolition!”
I have to say, this was really such a stupid thing to do, I wondered (mistakenly) if it was a false flag operation by the right. After all, the sacking of the US Capitol on Jan 6 totally backfired on the participants. Not only did they not get what they wanted, it turned most of the nation against them. And gave Republicans who supported the “stop the steal” lies an opportunity to claim “both sides do it”.
Justice is a worthy goal. Revenge never is. Actions like these two protests make it less likely that justice will be served.
The removal of his orangeness should be a cause for a joyful celebration. And there were plenty of happy, peaceful demonstrations going on in Portland and Seattle (and many other places) that day. We need more of that, not violence and destruction. If you want to change people’s minds, follow the examples of Gandhi and MLK Jr.
Let me be clear, I am unequivocally denouncing this violence, and would do that even if I agreed with any goals of the people doing it. But this Wednesday’s violence and destruction was absolutely stupid violence and destruction.
I would not say that violence is never ever justified, and people who do say that are often being hypocritical. After all, our country celebrates the Boston Tea Party, which was definitely violent and led to destruction of property (and the start of the American revolution). And I personally believe that war against the Nazis was justified.
Bottom line — the people who participated in the violence in Portland and Seattle should be appropriately punished for their actions. And Democrats and other liberals should condemn them.